President Hideaki Okubo
Founded in 1932 by Shigeo Inaoki (1909-1992), the Inaoki Incorporated Educational Institution began its existence as the Hokuriku Meisei Abacus and Bookkeeping Vocational School. This year (2022) we will celebrate its 90th anniversary, renewing the spirit of its founding motto “to nurture sincere human beings in becoming useful members of society.”
In the early Showa period, the Japanese economy, weakened by the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and the Financial Crisis of 1927, was devastated by the Great Depression of 1929, falling into crisis. The stock market crashed, causing many companies to go bankrupt, especially in urban areas. Many people were unable to find employment, “despite having graduated from university,” to quote a common complaint at the time. In 1932, there was the May 15 Incident, an attempted coup d’état to overthrow the government. There were many changes afoot. The Kanto Army declared the founding of Manchuria in mainland China, and immigration to Manchuria started soon after. It was a period of instability and darkness.
Despite the political turmoil, the Japanese economy managed to recover slowly from the Great Depression: the GDP started to rise and the economy began to flourish. In 1930, the Daiwa Department Store (Miyaichi Daimaru Co., Ltd.) opened in Kanazawa. People started to crowd movie theaters and cafes, and the city regained some of its vitality. It was a time of conspicuous consumption, and people indulged in sports to cheer themselves up. It was in this era of darkness turning to light that the Hokuriku Meisei Abacus and Bookkeeping Vocational School was born.
The school was a place of learning that taught the basics of business to people active in the local economy at the time. If you could tally the beads on an abacus, then you can get clear, reliable answers. There is no lie in accurate bookkeeping, as they say. The results are "clear and precise." It was these business professionals—average people working to earn their daily bread—who contributed to the economic development of the Hokuriku region. The word “meisei” (clear and bright) in the original name of the school—with its connotations of clarity, precision, and honesty— reflects the founding spirit of the school. This notion which was eventually formulated as “the nurturing of sincere human beings in becoming useful members of society,” became the motto of Inaoki Incorporated Educational Institution.
In 1967, the institution established the school as Kanazawa Keizai University and began matriculating students into its Department of Economics within the Faculty of Economics. That year "Soaring in the Open Skies Over Mt. Hakusan" was designated as the official school song. In 2002, the university name was changed to Kanazawa Seiryo University, adding the Faculty of Human Sciences in 2007 and the Faculty of Humanities in 2016. The school song is sung even to this day.
The founding spirit can also be found in the refrain with its repetition of the words "keisei” (put the world in order, especially economic order) and “saimin” (help people and society)." In English, the line could be rendered roughly as “With the economy on our mind and society in our hearts.”
The phrase "keisei saimin" is often shortened to "keizai,” the more popular word for “economy” in modern Japanese. Nowadays, it is commonly understood in its narrow sense as the study of economic activities related to production, consumption, buying and selling. However, the phrase is originally from a classical Chinese text, Wang Tong's “Bunchuko,” and was a widely known political, moral and philosophical idea, meaning “to govern the nation well and provide relief to the people.”
By invoking the phrase “keisei saimin,” the lyrics of our school song express our wish to live our lives in good faith and to be useful to other people and to the world at large. As educators, this means that we strive to cultivate individuals of the highest integrity, capable of making meaningful contributions to society. This was the guiding tenet of the original Faculty of Economics, and it remains the common educational philosophy of all departments and faculties at Kanazawa Seiryo University today. It is my heartfelt wish here and now to reaffirm the spirit of our founder’s vision.
Hideaki Okubo, President of Kanazawa Seiryo University